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... the government at work...

By The IT Guru ·
How is this for a good one...

Last Monday, Tech Support answers a call from the Premiers Department of the South Australian Government. One of the executives laptop would not start, but he was informing tech support because he would not let us touch it, as it was too important.

He then informed us that he was arranging a Microsoft Technician to fly in from Sydney to look at it specifically.

The technician arrives, and presses the power button, and the laptop miraculously works. It had only gone into hibernation mode!!!

Cost the taxpayer $4000.00 for all that.

Gotta love the government...

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Example of Govt. wastage on an embarrassing scale...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to ... the government at wor ...

Back in the 80s when I worked for MAFF (Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries & Food), I was the Print Buyer for the whole of the UK. Everything that MAFF had printed, every incidence of ink contacting paper would pass across my desk.

Each print order had to be completed by hand by filling out in detail a Print Procurement Order - these orders were sequentially numbered and came in landscape A4 books of 50 orders. As the years progressed various meetings were convened where one of the subjects always was the idea that 'others' within the department should be allowed to fill out these print orders, whenever they wanted to rather than 'having to' wait for me to do it. Each time I made a vociferous point that I was the only member of staff that actually knew what the dangers were of filling out one of these forms willy-nilly with little or no knowledge of printing. My assistant and I always rotated holidays to maintain cover.

Eventually my Boss' Boss sidled nonchalantly into my office one day and told me he needed to borrow one of these books, and strolled off with it. Later that day he stuck his head round my door and asked cursorily "What's the name of that paper? You know, THAT paper?" I pointed out that there were over 1400 types of paper, with different paper merchants calling these 1400 types by their own trade names, so he'd have to be more specific. "That stuff the Ministry of Defence wanted to use last year, remember?"

The previous year I'd had a phonecall from my opposite number in the MoD - he was ordering POSTERS and he'd been told that these posters had to be able to withstand a nuclear attack. It amused me at the time because I didn't know of ANY paper merchant who could have tested his paper stock against nuclear attack, but assumed that if the paper was fireproof then it would at least withstand the firestorm that follows a nuclear explosion.

Back to my erstwhile 'superior' - I gave him the name of the material (I call it material because strictly speaking it's not paper at all, and even although it comes in sheets it is actually an amalgam of fibreglass and plastics but can be printed on using a conventional printing press.) Later that day my print order book was returned to me and I didn't bother checking the carbon sheet because I had little or no interest in what he'd ordered.

His print job was completed and delivered to the central despatch warehouse, from there to be shipped out as and when required.

Some weeks later I started getting complaints relayed to me from all over the UK and several European countries. People were getting very irate with this MAFF printed product that I had no knowledge of whatsoever - I'd never heard of it and couldn't figure out where it came from. So I contacted the warehouse and asked them to send some samples of this unknown job.

It turned out this 'important print job' was a BOOKMARK! A sodding bookmark, printed in specially mixed spot colours to merge with the "New-Look MAFF" (something else I was unaware of..).

This bookmark was intended to promote a marketing campaign and had an application form at the bottom of the reverse side, complete with a little dotted line with a scissors symbol and the immortal words "Cut or Tear along dotted line".

This promotional MAFF Bookmark, complete with dotted line for tearing, had been printed on military strength TYVEK. This not inconsiderably expensive material had been chosen to form the basis of an all-enduring bookmark, a bookmark that would not fall apart before you'd finished reading the book, a bookmark that you could grow old with.

It also happened to be flameproof, supposedly nuclear blast proof, and very definitely 100% tearproof and impervious to anything but a hardened-steel industrial guillotine, including domestic scissors which it could destroy with ease!!

Standard print runs of booklets/leaflets were usually twenty to twenty-five thousand.

He'd ordered 250,000 of these bookmarks for economy! :^0 :^0 :^0

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Jeez. And here I thought

by seanferd In reply to Example of Govt. wastage ...

that you were going to tell us that they were Poster-Size Bookmarks. :^0

What a nincompoop.

P.S. Do you know where I can get terrorist-proof bookmarks?

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I wonder what all their IP tomfoolery costs

by seanferd In reply to ... the government at wor ...

Intellectual Property, that is.

Wildfire maps.

Trying to force ISPs into copyright police.

(Not trying to single out Australia, just keeping on the subject.)

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